India-Denmark Green Strategic Partnership and its Bilateral Challenges and Avenues

Updated: May 26

Mahak Gupta,

Research Intern,

Internationalism Research.

In September 2020, India and Denmark with the aim to expand their cooperation and elevate their ties signed a “Green Strategic Partnership”. This would cover the areas of environment, renewable energy, economy, science and technology and climate change. An hour-long bilateral summit which was held between Mr Narendra Modi, our Prime Minister along with Mette Frederiksen, his Danish Counterpart, came to this conclusion. They also gave a thought upon the India-EU agreement which has been pending for a long time and the effect on the global supply chain due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This new age partnership came up as a conclusion of the talks on the issue of Purulia arms case and the extradition of Kim Davy for trial, where the concerned officials would resort to an early resolution of the matter. All this would result in a new dimension of our bilateral relations, green growth, addressing global challenges to strengthen cooperation and increased area of understanding on the goals of climate change and its implementation. As the country has been long dependent on a single source for global supply chain and the risk has further increased due to the pandemic it would be very essential for us together working with Australia and Japan for supply-chain diversification and resilience. The Prime Minister said that we have come to realise in the past few months that it is very necessary to work in cooperation with like-minded countries sharing transparent, rules-based, Democratic and humanitarian value-system which would also help in vaccine development for facing this pandemic.

What is the Green Strategic Partnership?

A mutually beneficial arrangement for achieving the goals of political cooperation, expanding green growth along with the economic relations, strengthening cooperation and creating jobs is the green strategic partnership. It also aims at addressing the challenges faced globally and the opportunities for growth with an ambition to implement the UN Sustainable Development Goals and also the Paris agreement.

It would be built on a Joint Commission already in existence, for Cooperation created in the year 2009 for matters on economics, politics, commerce, energy, education, science and technology, and environment. It will also work alongside the joint working groups already in existence on urban development, renewable energy, innovation, agriculture, and digitisation, shipping and labour movement. This partnership would expand the existing technologies and lead to various joint ventures. Specific targets have been created and these would be achieved with a time-bound action plan for the next few years. India has been offered help from Danish companies with technologies that are exceptional and excellent in meeting its air pollution control targets, including the long-drawn problem of stubble burning. Regular consultations on renewable energy and climate change, water efficiency and its loss with seeking the help of the Ministry of Jal Shakti and the Environmental Protection Agency of their country and Danish environment ministry will be held to develop a scheme and a plan to work for 2021-23.

Key features of the Statement

Climate Change and Energy

Green energy transition and climate change have been the top priority. Some of the commitments include:

  • For capacity building, the India-Denmark Energy Partnership (INDEP);

  • technology transfer and sharing of knowledge on wind energy;

  • for renewable energy and offshore wind, the Strategic Sector Cooperation will be created;

  • integration of renewable energy and modelling of energy.

These are created to address global problems and pave a way towards sustainable development, energy transition and green growth. They have agreed to be on the forefront, for a fight against the global issue of climate change.

Circular Economy and the Environment including water resource

The agreement which is between governments already on circular economy and the environment has decided to be strengthened and expanded. In the areas of non-revenue water and water efficiency, the countries agreed to cooperate further. For this purpose as already discussed above the three ministries of both the countries together would develop an initial plan of action for three years i.e. 2021-2023.

Smart city plan and Sustainable Development for urban areas

An urban living lab would be established in Goa as agreed between the countries. This would strengthen the bilateral relationship in the areas of development of the urban areas with special focus on the smart city scheme. City to city cooperation existing between Udaipur and the Danish cities of Tumakuru, Aarhus and Aalborg will be further developed.

Shipping, trade and Business

Green and climate-friendly technologies have been decided to be adopted where both sides decided on giving way to the idea of a coalition between institutions and businesses with the support of the governments of the two countries. The investments of the public and the private sector in green energy were given importance and a need for its regulatory framework conditions. Shipbuilding and design, green shipping, post-development as well as maritime services have to be enhanced as their potential is increasing hence a need for the focus on maritime affairs was noted.

Science, Technology, Innovation and Digitization

Implementation of new solutions and acceleration in technology development in the STIs via a strong public-private partnership was recognised. Digitisation and solutions related to the theme were a shared interest between the two leaders. Green transition in business models was also discussed. Keeping in mind these objectives, they collaborated for innovation, enhanced development, and for supporting the green growth in a sustainable manner, a demonstration in the field of technologies related to digitisation would be required.

Food and Agriculture

Fostering deep and close cooperation between businesses, authorities, and research institutions in the sectors including dairy, animal husbandry food safety and food processing were encouraged.

Health and Life Science

In the health sector need and potential was emphasized by both sides. They expressed a common desire to focus on cooperation and dialogue in this sector. Developing best practices on the policy issues of health, which would include vaccines and epidemics, and especially combating the current Covid-19 situation and also creating measures to curb future pandemics were the main areas of interest between the two. More favourable environments for business would be created by the expansion of commercial opportunities and collaborations on research including the sector of science would be on the priority list.

Movement of Labour and Cultural Cooperation

The people to people contacts between Denmark and India has enriched the relation between the two countries. This paved the way on an agreement to promote this further by creating awareness and a scene of mutual understanding between the people. This can be done with the help of cultural cooperation. The possibilities related to labour mobility will be examined. Along with it, smooth travel between the two nations would further the motive of greater interaction between the nationals. This would as a result strengthen the sector of tourism.

Multilateral Cooperation

Support and promotion of a rule-based multilateral system would be carried forward. Strong multilateral cooperation in emergency times for enhancing global efforts to curb the challenges on climate change and energy will be included. The alliance and commitment of the International Renewable Energy Agency, International Energy Agency and the International Solar Alliance will be required. For this, the help of WTO measures is necessary where an inclusive, open and a rule-based multilateral trading system would help in the promotion of the goals of sustainable development and growth. A trade and investment agreement which would be fair, ambitious and mutually beneficial between India and EU would be worked upon to deepen the relationship between India and the EU.

Merits of the Statement

  • This would help in the reduction of global problems of climate change and strengthening the relations with Denmark with emphasis on the implementation of the climate change goals and the Paris Agreement.

  • The biggest hurdle in the way of bilateral relations between India and Denmark for last many years had been extradition of Kim Davy who is an accused of the arms drop case of Purulia. The future of this issue was discussed as a result of this summit. This would be beneficial as this case had completely sidelined our ties with Denmark.

  • This would help in globalisation and may help in creating opportunities for the people of India who do not have jobs as Denmark proposed setting up of India-Denmark Green Energy Park in areas where there are large numbers of Danish companies.

  • The initiatives of “Skill India” and “Make in India” would be furthered as by setting up of India Denmark Skill Institute the Danish companies will be able to get skilled manpower as per their requirement. Currently, over 140 Danish companies are participating in the Make in India initiative.

  • The overall falling gross domestic product of the country may also increase with this partnership.


The rankings of Denmark upon many scales have always been on the top. It has been ranked first in the Digital Quality of Life 2020, Environmental Performance Index 2020, Corruption Perceptions Index 2019 and Global Social Mobility Index 2020. In the most powerful passports in 2020, it has stood in top 10 and according to the Global Peace Index of 2019 it is the most peaceful countries. Ties with such a developed country will definitely help India in the future but the problem with our law and policies for a long time has been its implementation. Such an ambitious policy which covers so many areas within it is very tough and onerous task to implement and would take years to bear fruits. Hence the need for the country is to address the graver problems of the pandemic first and then find solutions for other global problems.


The convictions between the two leaders open many doors for India and the plan of the two nations to establish Green Strategic Partnership has opened a new chapter in the friendly and cooperative relations between them. Actions and Ambitious goals will be combined in an action plan after deliberations and identification which would in the near future be worked upon and as soon as possible be endorsed.

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